June 11, 2017.- Quebec driver Valérie Chiasson returned to competition in Canada this weekend, as she took part in the Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup at Canadian Grand Prix on Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Consistent with a tradition that has always seen Valérie shine at this prestigious event, she contested two excellent races, earning a second place category finish both times. This year, Valérie competes in the Gold class, for older cars, who are usually two seconds per lap slower than the 2017 GT3 models. Despite this, Valérie Chiasson also claimed a Top 10 overall finish at the end of race one Saturday, before finishing twelfth overall on race two Sunday.
At the wheel of her Total Canada Porsche 911 GT3 Cup prepared by Mark Motors Racing, Valérie Chiasson had to re-familiarize herself with the Canadian Porsche Cup series after only competing in European Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux events so far this season. Right from Friday’s only practice session, everything went well for the Quebec driver, who currently resides in Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
“I’m using a car in the Gold Class, for GT3 Cup models prior to 2017. The quality of the preparation by Mark Motors Racing was perfect but understandably, it’s impossible for a car in this category to vie for the top overall,” explained Valérie.
Nevertheless, ahead of the first race on Saturday, she qualified in thirteenth overall and second in Gold Class. Under a hot sun and in front of full-capacity grandstands, her race was a success from start to finish.
“I had a good start and gained three spots on the first turn. Following that, there was a caution period as a result of an incident in the peloton and I lost two places. I actually think one of two of the drivers didn’t heed the yellow flags indicating that nobody could pass, but they weren’t penalized. It didn’t affect me much as I was able to overtake them as soon as the race was back on,” added Valérie Chiasson, who drove her car to tenth spot overall and second in Gold Class.
Valérie Chiasson found herself back on the podium at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, after having been the first female driver to climb onto an overall podium at the Canadian Grand Prix, in 2015.
“It was an amazing feeling to be on a Canadian Grand Prix podium. I really attacked from start to finish, to earn and defend my position in this race, so this tastes particularly good,” indicated Valérie.
Sunday, Valérie Chiasson started from fourteenth spot. Slowed down during several laps because of an incident, the race was too short for her to regain many positions after the fact. Valérie Chiasson finished twelfth overall and second in Gold Class, making her way once again onto her category’s podium.
“My best lap was the last lap of the race and I really believe that had the race been longer (it was only 25 minutes instead of the series’ usual 45 minutes), I would’ve been able to climb one or two more spots but all in all, it was a remarkable weekend,” explained Valérie, who is also the Canadian representative on the FIA’s “Women in Motorsport” Commission, which encourages female participation in motorsports.
Without having done any testing ahead of time, Valérie was in her first Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup event of the year.
She will be back behind the wheel of the #27 Mark Motors Racing and Total Canada Porsche at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières. Between now and then, she will continue her season in Europe, with her next Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Benelux event scheduled for July 1st at the Zandvoort track in the Netherlands.
Valérie Chiasson’s participation in this season’s Canadian Porsche GT3 Cup is in partnership with Mark Motors Racing and Total Canada.